Eric Kennington
A Bantam Hercules 1917

Artwork details

Eric Kennington 1888–1960
A Bantam Hercules
Date 1917
Medium Charcoal on paper
Dimensions Support: 762 x 483 mm
Acquisition Presented by Otto Gutekunst 1920
Not on display

Display caption

This drawing was reproduced in a volume called British Artists at the Front published in 1918.

The accompanying commentary noted that, at the beginning of the first world war, army recruits under 5 feet 2 inches tall were rejected. But ‘in the factory districts of Lancashire and Cheshire, the average stature is lower’. The desire to volunteer for the army was so strong that men between 5 feet and 5 feet 2 inches tall were recruited for ‘Bantam’ battalions. Kennington selected this man for ‘his exceptional strength and vitality’.

December 2004

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